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Relinquish the Throne


Hello, everyone! Theros Beyond Death previews keep coming and I'm looking forward to seeing the decks that are created with these new cards. There's still a little time before that happens. In the meantime, I continue searching the internet for fun, competitive decks to play. This week I have three more to try out. Let's get started by taking a look at the first deck.

Mono-White Lifegain

The first deck I have for you has a ton of creative ways to destroy your opponent's creatures and mill them out at the same time... just kidding. With a name like Mono-White Lifegain, it should come as no surprise that this first deck is about gaining additional points of life. Let's take a look at the deck:

Linden, the Steadfast Queen
Decks that gain life usually have a full playset of Ajani's Pridemate in them, and this deck is no exception. Ajani's Pridemate gains a +1/+1 counter every time you gain life. In a deck like this one, that can end up being a ton of +1/+1 counters. When you combine Linden, the Steadfast Queen with Ajani's Pridemate and a deck full of White creatures, one combat phase can make Ajani's Pridemate swell up to gigantic proportions. Since Linden gives you one point of life whenever a White creature you control attacks, each attacking creature will trigger Ajani's Pridemate separately, putting the +1/+1 counter on it before you'll deal damage.

With all of those counters on it, Ajani's Pridemate will become a huge target for your opponent's creature removal spells. Luckily, this deck runs a couple of copies of Unbreakable Formation. With Unbreakable Formation, you'll be able to make your entire team indestructible for the turn. You can also cast Unbreakable Formation during your main phase before combat to force your opponent into making unfavorable blocks or taking a ton of damage.

This deck features a number of ways to gain life. Haazda Marshal and Hunted Witness have ways of creating token creatures with lifelink. Resolute Rider has an activated ability that can be used to grant it lifelink for the turn. Finally, Gideon Blackblade can use his +1 loyalty ability to give lifelink to any other creature you control for the turn. An Ajani's Pridemate with a bunch of +1/+1 counters on it a good target for this ability.

Mono-Red Goblins

The next deck I have for you is a Mono-Red deck that features a fun tribe to play, Goblins. Let's take a look at the deck:

Goblin Gathering
The Goblin tribe has long been one of my favorite tribes. They're a fast, aggressive deck to play, and they can really pack a punch. With a deck like this, your goal will be to overwhelm your opponent by having a superior number of Goblins on the battlefield. C can help with this. If you happen to play Goblin Gathering three times during the game, you'll create nine Goblin tokens in total. If you happen to see the fourth copy during the game, that number grows to fourteen. With that amount of bodies, you can easily attack even when facing larger blockers, knowing that the unblocked Goblins will deal a little damage thanks to the sacrifice of their brethren.

Legion Warboss helps to increase the mass of your forces as well, by creating a 1/1 Goblin token each turn. If the path is clear, you can attack with him as well, using his mentor ability to add a +1/+1 counter to one of your Goblin minions. If you find the battlefield to be cluttered with potential blockers, feel free to hold back from attacking with Legion Warboss until such a time where you can deal lethal damage regardless of potential blockers.

Another Goblin you'll want to get on the battlefield early in the game is Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin. If you're able to attack early and often with him, you'll be able to build him into a mighty wrecking machine. This is thanks to the +1/+1 counter he gets whenever he attacks. Krenko also creates a number of 1/1 Goblin tokens equal to his power when he attacks. Build up your army for a massive attack, overwhelming your opponent in the process.

Azorius Fliers

The final deck I have for you takes to the skies as a means of gaining an advantage in combat. Let's take a look at it:

Empyrean Eagle
If you're looking for a straightforward deck, look no further. This deck is all about the flying creatures. But even though it is built around one premise, it offers a lot of game play. You'll want to begin to build up your side of the battlefield with your smaller creatures. Healer's Hawk, Loyal Pegasus, and Pteramander are all great creatures to play early on, allowing you the option to attack if your opponent doesn't have any creatures with flying or reach.

As the game progresses, you'll hopefully find a copy or two of Empyrean Eagle to cast. This Bird Spirit will give every other creature you control +1/+1. You can also begin building up your other creatures as some of them can gain +1/+1 counters. Faerie Vandal starts of small, but can grow every time you cast Winged Words. Pteramander can adapt and gain four +1/+1 counters, turning itself into a formidable Salamander Drake. If you happen to have a copy of Spectral Sailor in play, you'll want to use it's card drawing ability as often as possible to find the spells you'll need to win the game.

With Unbreakable Formation, if you cast it during your main phase prior to your combat, you'll give all of your creatures a +1/+1 counter as well as granting them indestructibility and vigilance. If that doesn't do the job, you have a full playset of Rally of Wings at your disposal. This untaps all of your creatures and will give them a +2/+2 bonus until the end of the turn. Make sure you're able to use these combat tricks to your advantage and you should have no trouble finishing off most opponents.

Wrapping Up

By the time you have read this article, we should have the full spoiler for Theros Beyond Death. There are a lot of great cards coming out that will help existing decks become stronger as well as helping some decks become competitive. Next week, I hope to bring you some decks featuring these new cards. Let me know in the comments below what cards you're most looking forward to when we return to Theros.

What do you think of these decks? Do you have any suggestions for improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below or email me directly at mikelikesmtg@gmail.com. Also, feel free to share this article with your friends anywhere on social media. And be sure to join me here again next week as I continue my search for innovative decks in Standard. I'll see you then!

- Mike Like

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